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Zoya Akhtar Admits To Being “Nervous & Excited” Ahead Of ‘The Archies’ Release

Divya Pal

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A still from 'The Archies'.
A still from 'The Archies'.

Zoya Akhtar, a highly-acclaimed Indian filmmaker who is known for her exceptional storytelling and unique directorial style, admits to being nervous ahead of the release of the highly-anticipated film The Archies. Zoya may have made a significant impact in the industry with her diverse range of films that beautifully capture the essence of human emotions and relationships, but that doesn’t stop her from feeling anxious about the viewers’ reaction to her upcoming streaming film. For the unversed, The Archies is set in the fictional town of Riverdale in the 1960s and is a collaborative effort between Netflix India, Tiger Baby, Archie Comics, and Graphic India.

Zoya Akhtar, who was recently at IFFI 2023, told ScreenBox that she is nervous because she has worked on The Archies for a long time. “I’m a bit nervous because we are days away from the release. That’s what happens every time the countdown begins. I start getting a bit nervous because I’ve worked on it for so long. The crew cast everyone’s work will be coming out to the world, so I’m excited and I’m a little nervous.”

The Archies is based on the popular comics of the same name.  The impactful story of the popular comic revolved around a group of talented musicians who come together to form a band and navigate the challenges of fame, friendship, and self-discovery. With their catchy tunes and relatable lyrics, the band’s music resonates with fans of all ages, making them a cultural phenomenon. However, behind the glitz and glamour, the Archies also tackled important social issues, using their platform to raise awareness and inspire change. 

Zoya’s The Archies too delves deeper into the lives of teenagers Archie Andrews, Veronica Lodge, Jughead Jones, Betty Cooper, and Reggie Mantle.

On being asked if directing The Archies was a memorable personal experience, Zoya said, “Yes, it was, because this is a what I’ve tried to capture – the innocence of when you were 12 and you were reading this comic and you went into this thinking of it as an ideal place. I want the viewers to be transported to that innocent and ideal time – where everything went by slowly, life was good and where everything worked out.”

Zoya – who agrees that ‘The Archies’ is local with a global appeal – lists down two crucial themes she wants the viewers to focus on. “There are two themes that have been very important to me. One is ‘less is more’. I think it was going back to a time where we didn’t have so many things, but somehow we’re happier. I think ‘Less Is More’ was a big theme, and for the other big theme you have to see the film. I don’t want to spoil it.”

After the trailer of The Archies was dropped, Zoya was approached by friends and relatives to know if the Big Moose was a part of the film. “Yes. I was approached by many to know if he is a part of the film. Moose is a very popular character. And people wanted to see him in the trailer, but I couldn’t fit so many people in the trailer. Let me confirm that he’s in the film.” ”

Is there any one character she totally relates to believes it to be a major part of her personality? “Honestly speaking, it changes everyday. And some days I’m Dilton, some days I’m Veronica, some days I’m a Betty, and some days I’m a proper jughead. So it depends on the day.”

‘The Archies’ has been directed by Zoya Akhtar, who has co-written it with Reema and Ayesha Devitre. It will stream on Netflix from December 7.

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